Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
The Recruiting Guy:
Basketball to football pays off for JC lineman
Offensive lineman Tyler Howell, an Arkansas target, thought his future was in basketball until giving football a try his junior year in high school.
Howell, 6-9, 305 pounds, eventually ended up at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan. after starring at Bonner Springs High School in Kansas. A new coach at his high school convinced him to focus on football.
“I started getting looks late, but I just thought if I can get it some looks without even without much development and I wasn't eligible so I really didn't have a choice,” Howell said. “But if I can get a D-I look without that much development, there's no telling what I can do with coaching at a Juco.”
His decision has paid with scholarship offers from seven schools, including Arkansas, Ohio State, Kentucky and Missouri. He plans to officially the Hogs on Nov. 15 for the LSU game and Ohio State on Nov. 29.
Howell said his talks with offensive line coach Sam Pittman has him interested.
“Just talking to Coach Pittman, I like the direction things are going down there,” Howell said. “It would be cool to be part of something new, if that's what it came to.”
He said he’s more advanced in his pass blocking.
“I definitely take pride in my pass blocking,” Howell said. “I need to focus more on the run blocking so I can get that better.”
Fourteen of Pittman’s former players have been selected in the NFL draft.
“I’ve seen the list,” Howell said.
Howell, who also plans to officially visit Kentucky, will graduate in May. He’s in no rush to make a decision.
“Definitely want to finish the season because I know I'll have time after just to think about it,” said Howell, who has three years to play two on the next level. “I have some stuff to finish before I can even worry about anything happening at a four year.”